Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bluebead lily and Bunchberry flower

A beautiful day - temps in the 70's, some wind, lots of sun.  The baby birds are beginning to fly.  I haven't checked the nest boxes but am basing this on the amount of chirping, somewhat erratic flight patterns, and attempts to land on grass stems way to small to handle a bird's weight.  I'm waiting for nightfall and hoping the lightening bugs come out.  It's been too cool for insect activity this last week but as the nights become warmer, I'm hoping for an explosion of insect activity and it could be quite the show.
Dunder had his first hairball.  He upchucked it on the floor and then sat back on his haunches a bit puzzled.  He put out a tentative paw toward it and then pulled it back thinking better of that plan.  He got up and walked around it and finally decided if it came out of him it should be covered up.  He made the usual paw movements as if there were sand to push on top of it.  Figuring he had done everything possible, he ran off in search of Blitzen.  Suppose this is similar to the first time a baby spits up - an occurrence equally disgusting and endearing.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Forest has Eyes

Nancy and I have been trying to find out what we can about a tombstone in the little cemetery in her home town.  It's unusual because it's one honking big black stone and no one in Nancy's family recognizes the name.  For a small town, that's pretty unusual.  We've been researching it on-line.  She found that the person  buried there was a medical doctor and that he was murdered.  I found out he was killed in California by an intruder who broke into his home.  I did find a Facebook site asking for leads on who might have shot him.  Nancy sent me a site showing that the doctor's siblings were contesting his wife being the executor of his will since they thought she had killed him.  I found out the wife now owns some medical offices in California (I'm assuming it couldn't be proven she had anything to do w/ his death) and she was picked up for being high on opiates while seated in her car.  In a way this rutting around through the Internet seems intrusive but probably no worse than listening in on the old rural party phone lines.  Just an upgraded medium.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Balsam pine cones

At the end of  May I switched my bed sheets over from flannel to microfiber, removed/washed/stowed away the electric blanket and put screens on the windows.  One of the creature comforts I enjoy is sleeping w/ the windows open in the summer.  Another creature comfort however is getting into a warm bed at night.  W/ temps being about ten degrees colder than norm over last week and this upcoming week, decided bringing back the electric blanket was my best bet.  It's a bit of a setback but at least I'm not using the 7 to 9 settings of winter but can get away w/ 2 to 4.  

On the kitten front, Dunder and Blitzen are always discovering something new.   Blitzen was bouncing up and down trying to catch the leaves on my peace lily plant when she landed on the floor sweeping robot's start button.  It started to life and both kittens streaked for cover.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wild strawberries and ramp buds

I took a side path through the woods to see if I could find ramp flowers.  I thought I might have missed them blooming. It's a little hard to find them since at this stage there are only reddish stems w/ flowers at the end.  Their bright green leaves of spring have entirely died away.  I wasn't finding any.  My mind wandered and I started counting all of the types of trees I could identify in the woods.  Was up to 21 when there were some ramp buds (no flowers yet) right at my feet.  Ramp are one of those edible plants easily identifiable.  Saw another easily identifiable and edible plant on the way out of the woods -  tiny super sweet wild strawberries are ripening too.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hophornbeam tree

Picked up groceries and along w/ them a few squirt guns.  They weren't expensive so I can forgive that I need to keep them upright or they drip out of the nozzle.  Maybe watching all of those Westerns on METV have helped because I'm a pretty accurate shot.  Gave Blitzen a squirt when she started sharpening her claws on the sofa.  Dunder got it when he jumped into a plant.  The effect is they immediately stop what they were doing.  They haven't yet made the connection between me, standing feet away, and the spray of water.  Didn't catch either of them when they knocked over a glass vase and broke it but you can't win them all.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blue Flag and Wild Columbine

Forecast was for rain all day so Indy and I went out for an early walk.   We had big raindrops hitting us the entire time.  Working outside would be sloppy so I opted for running errands.  As I've said before there are small businesses run out of people's homes that I patronize.   These people have stated hours of operation but you can't really count on them being open.    They close for all sorts of reasons including the piscatorial 'Gone Fishing'.  The lady's home that sold stained glass wasn't near anything so when I wanted glass I always called ahead to see if she was open.  Unfortunately the lady that I use for framing pictures is located on the way into a city.  I don't call ahead since I keep a running list of multiple places to visit if I'm going that way.  The picture framing place is just one of the items on my list and I'm going past her place no matter what.  The problem is when she's not there - like today -  I get frustrated.  However, I was able to get everything else on my list accomplished so I'll just try again in a couple of weeks when I go that way again.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Summer Solstice

 At 2 a.m. I got up to put another blanket on the bed.  About that time the kittens and Indy all jumped on the bed to leach heat from me.  At 5 a.m. I woke up to get a picture of the rising sun.  Grabbed a coat since temp was about 40 degrees.  Since it was a cool day decided to take advantage.  I dug out some daylilies and moved them over w/ the rest on the septic mound.  Replaced them w/ sedum.  Then I planted the rest of the flowers I had picked up yesterday.  I had just managed to mow the lawn on Monday before it started raining so today I mowed all the rest of the trails.  Went for a short walk w/ Indy before taking a shower and to the library for my volunteer shift.  Not sure I expected it to be quite this cold on the first day of summer but considering the weather in other parts of the country, today was great!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A day on the road

 My friend Nancy wanted to visit the cemeteries back at her hometown so she picked me up on the way.  We drove 40 miles east and checked them out in the morning.  Nancy told me stories about the people buried in each place but she swore me to secrecy so I can't relate any of them to you.  (But don't we all have skeletons in our family closets?)  In the last cemetery she found her uncle "Twisty"s  tombstone had fallen off it's pedestal so she'll send out some e-mails to get that put back in place. We had lunch in a diner and then did some shopping.   From there drove another 30 miles northwest to a large nursery and picked up a few plants to supplement the potted plants we each have on our decks.  Then another 30 miles south west home.  Took up most of the day but had fun doing it.  Plus, as you can see, I have a planter project to try for next year!

Monday, June 19, 2017

New Front Door Bell

When the house was built I purposely did not put in a door bell.  I figured anyone who wanted to visit would contact me ahead of time.  That turned out not to exactly work as planned.  Last Christmas a friend gave me a bell that was used on the farm where she grew up (theme for gift was "Bells of St. Mary's" film).  It's a substantial and loud bell so I decided to repurpose it as my front door bell.   Phil screwed in an eye bolt in the eave over the niche of the doorway and we went looking for some sort of hanger.   I found some likely candidates in the form of leather belts from the 60's.  One was macramed and the other fringed.  Phil nixed them as not being the right look.  In the garage we found the leather reins I had bought some time ago to attach to a horse bit.  I had it on the wall when I lived in the Big City but I no longer had a place for it here.  Phil detached one rein, cut it to length and put in a hole for the rawhide tie.    I like it.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


The kittens are growing incredibly fast.  Last weekend Dunder wanted to but wouldn't attempt the jump from my leather recliner to the stuffed chair (a distance of a few feet).  Tonight I watched him jump from the sofa directly to the stuffed chair (4 or 5 feet) to the credenza (holding the TV) run across the top to jump to the pew drop to the floor and scamper back to the sofa.  Blitzen is also active but seems to sleep a bit more.  My problem is she has found a place to hunker down that I haven't discovered yet.  I can't find her for long periods of time.  They both like to jump in and out of the potted plants around the house (I hope the plants survive this kittenish phase), climb furniture (and sometimes my leg) using their claws and sit atop the computer keyboard when I'm blogging.   I wrote on my grocery list to pick up a squirt gun so I can start to discipline them from afar.  Am tempted to pick up a super-soaker!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

River Jewelwing damselfly

My niece told me this morning she enjoyed waking up and just listening to the morning chorus of the birds.  I thought about that while I was out on the deck later in the afternoon.  It's actually quite noisy here this time of year.  There are bobolinks, robins, and sparrows singing in the fields.  A "V" of Canadian geese fly so low over the house that I can hear the synchronized beat of their wings. Hummers rev up their "engines" and have aerial fights periodically over the feeders.  Bumblebees are buzzing past looking for their next fix of pollen.  Slight winds send ripples through the tall grass in the meadow.  Not a cacophony certainly nor even unpleasant.  A vast change however from the absolute stillness on cold winter days.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Aunt Bev

Rachel and Steve arrived late last night.  This morning Rachel and I walked through the dew to check on some of the bluebird houses.  When the wind rose we flew kites.   The kittens weren't sure about these new people but Blitzen accepted them before long and Dunder accepted them in his own fashion.  After lunch it was over to Aunt Ruth & Uncle Rodney's place to dig up some rhubarb plants and visit w/ them and Aunt Bev.  Stopped by the farmer's market.  Tonight Russell came up and I introduced them all to "The Great British Baking Show" on PBS.  It was a beautiful day here to take life easy.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Swamp Saxifrage

Worked a longer shift at the library yesterday.  The librarian, who is retiring at the end of August, took the day off.  So the early morning volunteer worked until 2:30 and then  came in and worked until our usual Wednesday closing time of 7.  Wednesday is a courier day so we had a new batch of books ordered from other libraries.  People came in off and on picking up their books.  One man wanted to know who owned a parcel of land he was interested in. Suggested he go next door to the Village clerk.  He came back w/ a parcel list for the area and we found what he needed.   Aunt Bev stopped by and we got her back up on her tablet and access to Facebook.  The print looked mighty small to me so I got into settings and put it at "Huge".  Didn't make much difference.  Called my sister Connie - she's on Facebook. She got me in touch w/ her son-in-law Mike who immediately was able to talk us through how to make it larger (and smaller).  Was pretty happy when I finally closed up the library - accomplished everything requested of me (w/ some help).  There are't many days a person can say that!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Deer pals

Indy and I took a walk through the tall grass in my hay fields.  Ahead and down the hill a deer jumped up out of the grass and bounded for the woods.  She was bleating most of the way which is unusual for a deer - usually they stay quite silent.  Did she have a fawn somewhere?  Indy in dog-like fashion backtracked the deer's trail. I've seen fawns remain curled up and motionless when Indy found them.  This tactic thoroughly confuses Indy since they have no smell.  However, this fawn started bawling like a calf and came running through the grass, which was taller than  he was, straight for me.  He realized as he closed in I probably wasn't a safe haven and passed by to my right.  I was able to stop Indy from chasing the little thing further and we continued on a circuitous route home.  Doe and fawn will quickly find each other again.  Never say our walks are uneventful.